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Turkish Press Review, 00-04-14

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>

14.04.00

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [02] CLINTON'S MESSAGE TO DEMIREL
  • [03] CEM SENDS A LETTER TO LONDON
  • [04] POLISH PRESIDENT IN TURKEY
  • [05] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S RECOMMENDATION DECISION
  • [06] TANTAN RETURNS TO TURKEY
  • [07] DE CROO HOLDS TALKS IN ANKARA
  • [08] US ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR NEAR EAST AFFAIRS VISITS ANKARA
  • [09] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN TRNC
  • [10] TURCO-FRENCH COOPERATION IN DEFENCE
  • [11] KARAYILAN TRIAL ADJOURNED
  • [12] PKK STRUGGLING TO STAY UNITED
  • [13] RELIGIOUS LEADERS MEET IN HARRAN
  • [14] GOOD NEWS FOR CIVIL SERVANTS
  • [15] FOOTBALL LAW
  • [16] FOREST TO BE OPENED IN MEMORY OF OZAL
  • [17] 'MEDIA IN THE RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE'
  • [18] GREEK CHILDREN IN TURKEY
  • [19] AID CAMPAIGN BY ISTANBUL CHAMBER OF TRADE
  • [20] ONAL FORESEES SINGLE-DIGIT INFLATION WITHIN THREE YEARS
  • [21] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UP
  • [22] BIDDING FOR LAST GSM OPERATOR
  • [23] TELECOM ITALIA SEES MAJOR POTENTIAL IN TURKEY
  • [24] IMF: "TURKEY HAS MADE A GOOD START"
  • [25] CEREMONY FOR TEB AT LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [26] DEMIRBANK RECEIVES FOREIGN LOANS
  • [27] MIGROS IN SOFIA
  • [28] DUPONT-SABANCI TO BUILD NEW SOUTH AMERICAN TIRE FACTORY
  • [29] TURKEY THIRD LARGEST EXPORT FACTORING COUNTRY
  • [30] TARGET OF PRIVATIZATION: 15 BILLION DOLLARS
  • [31] DECLARATION OF THE WORLD'S ENERGY COUNCIL
  • [32] OGER-TOUR'S GENERAL ADVISOR'S STATEMENT
  • [33] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [34] HOW TO ACT FASTER? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [35] NO NAMES YET BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [02] CLINTON'S MESSAGE TO DEMIREL

    American President Bill Clinton worried about the rejection of the Constitutional amendment that would ensure Turkish President Suleyman Demirel's re-election as a President for the second time. Clinton delivered a message of regret through America's Special Representative to Turkey, Alfred Moses. Moses was received by Demirel two days ago at Cankaya Presidential Palace. It was stated that during his visit, Moses said, "Of course it is Turkey's internal problem but Mr.Clinton is terribly saddened by these developments. He appreciates you for your efforts to improve relations between Turkey and the US, and for your efforts to improve your country." In reply, Demirel said, "Thank you very much. Mr.Clinton is my friend and Turkey's friend. This friendship between us will continue." Moses also brought the message that Clinton was hopeful for a resolution of the Cyprus issue. Moses also thanked Demirel for the role that he played before the proximity talks in New York concerning the Cyprus issue. During the meeting, American Ambassador to Ankara, Mark Parris was also present. /Sabah/

    [03] CEM SENDS A LETTER TO LONDON

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry released a press statement yesterday about the recent attacks against Turks living in Britain following a violent incident in Istanbul which resulted in the killing of two British hooligans. "We have been closely following events in Britain which mirror the regrettable incidents in Istanbul, before the Galatasaray-Leeds United UEFA semifinal match. The British authorities have been keeping us informed of current developments in this context. Our Ministry has been doing everything it can since the very beginning" the statement said. Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem sent a letter to the British Foreign Secretary asking him to take measures to protect Turkish nationals living in Britain. /All papers/

    [04] POLISH PRESIDENT IN TURKEY

    Polish President, Aleksander Kwasniewski, arrived in Turkey yesterday as the official guest of Turkish President Suleyman Demirel. Kwasniewski will meet Demirel at Cankaya Presidential Palace today. On the agenda of Kwasniewski, who arrived in Turkey with a crowded delegation of businessmen accompanying him, is the improvement of opportunities of commercial cooperation. Kwasniewski will also deliver a speech to the General Council of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S RECOMMENDATION DECISION

    In a recommendation decision that was accepted by the European Parliament (EP), it was recommended that Turkey should speed up its reforms concerning human rights and democracy. In the decision, which was discussed at the 'urgent issues' session and accepted unanimously, it was requested that the former General Chairman of the Organization of Human Rights, Akin Birdal, and all political prisoners should be released. In this decision, it was stated that it was terribly disappointing that Birdal was sent to prison again and that 312th Article of the Turkish Penal Code was limiting freedom of expression. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] TANTAN RETURNS TO TURKEY

    Minister of the Interior, Sadettin Tantan, who went to Tirana as the guest of the Albanian Minister of the Interior, returned to Turkey. Tantan gave information on his diplomatic efforts in Albania at Ataturk Airport to journalists and said that they had reached a consensus on cooperating against drug trafficking, organized crimes and the human smuggling. /Turkiye/

    [07] DE CROO HOLDS TALKS IN ANKARA

    Speaker of the Belgian Parliament Herman De Croo met yesterday with the Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Kamran Inan and its Human Rights Committee Chairwoman Sema Piskinsut. De Croo is in Ankara on an official visit for talks with his Turkish counterpart, Yildirim Akbulut. De Croo said that establishing a committee devoted to human rights on the level of Parliament indicates that great importance is being given to the issue. He also said that the extradition of Fehriye Erdal, a suspect in the Sabanci case, would be approved by the Belgian Justice Ministry within a month's time.

    De Croo visited the Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, and said, "My message to you is that you should be patient concerning membership to the European Union." Meanwhile, Demirel said that Turkey's relations with Belgium were perfect and that the trade volume of the two countries was 2 billion dollars. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] US ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR NEAR EAST AFFAIRS VISITS ANKARA

    US Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs Edward S.Walker arrived in Ankara yesterday for discussions with Turkish government officials, reported the public affairs section of the US Embassy in Ankara. His visit is part of the Embassy's regular dialogue on regional issues, including the Middle East peace process and Iraq. He is accompanied by Francis Ricciardone, special coordinator for transition in Iraq. This is Walker's first official visit to Turkey. /Turkish Daily News/

    [09] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN TRNC

    Citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are preparing to vote for their president. The election will be held tomorrow, beginning at 08:00 a.m. 126,674 TRNC citizens will elect the new president from eight candidates for a five year term in office. Rauf Denktas, Dervis Eroglu, Mustafa Akinci, Ayhan Kaymak, Turgut Afsaroglu, Sener Levent, Arif Hasan Tahsin, Mehmet Ali Talat are the candidates competing for the presidency. /Aksam/

    [10] TURCO-FRENCH COOPERATION IN DEFENCE

    Having successfully manufactured F-16 fighters, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) have received permission from France to build Cougar military helicopters in Turkey, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The first AS-532 Cougar, built under license from France's Eurocopter, has been sent to be painted and will be delivered to the Turkish Air Force in May.

    According to a contract between TAI and Eurocopter which went into effect on October 1, 1998, a total of 30 general purpose AS-532 Cougar helicopters will be delivered to the Turkish Air Force, 28 of which will be built by TAI in Turkey. The other two will be built in France. Turkish companies Netas and Aselsan will contribute to the avionics and flight systems of the helicopter.

    [11] KARAYILAN TRIAL ADJOURNED

    The trial of PKK's so-called senior official, Murat Karayilan (code named Cemal), is continuing in his absence at Diyarbakir State Security Court (DGM). Karayilan fled and claimed asylum in Holland, but is still awaiting a decision from that country. At yesterday's trial the judge decided to wait for Karayilan's return and adjourned the trial to another date. /Turkish Daily News/

    [12] PKK STRUGGLING TO STAY UNITED

    It has been noted that the members of the PKK terrorist organization's so-called cahirmanship council have been continuously promising their members that 'very soon we will form a Kurdish state', in order to prevent them from disbanding, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Terrorism experts have determined that PKK members are psychologically exhausted, miss the fact their homes, and that the chairmanship council can no longer hide that it is no longer capable of fighting, not even from its own members.

    [13] RELIGIOUS LEADERS MEET IN HARRAN

    A symposium on 'Hz.Ibrahim, a symbol for dialogue between Jewish, Christian and Muslim people' supported by the State Ministry responsible for Religious Affairs and the Dialogue Platform Among Cultures and organized by the Journalists and Authors' Foundation started yesterday in Harran, Sanliurfa. Many people from three different religions gathered and prayed together. Harran is a district that has a history dating back 11,000 years in Anatolia. /Hurriyet/

    [14] GOOD NEWS FOR CIVIL SERVANTS

    Following the demonstrations held by the 'Kamu-Sen`, the union for civil servants, the draft law enabling public workers to establish unions and the right of collective bargaining without a strike was accepted at the Health, Family, Working and Social Affairs Commission of the TGNA. The draft law, referred to the Planning and Budgetary Commission, also gives police and private security workers the right to organize. However, the General Director of Security, directors of security and chiefs will not be members of the unions. /Aksam/

    [15] FOOTBALL LAW

    The amendment bills on 3813 numbered Football Law which was prepared by the State Minister Responsible for Sports, Fikret Unlu, went into effect after their ratification at the TGNA yesterday. Accordingly, the matches of the national team will be broadcast openly on TV channels without any password. The number of General Board members will be reduced to 108. In the mean time, referees who are usually exposed to attacks during matchs, will have their safety assured by the government. The referees will have the title of civil servant and the assailants will be punished as if they had attacked a civil servant on duty. /Aksam/

    [16] FOREST TO BE OPENED IN MEMORY OF OZAL

    The Motherland Party's (ANAP) Izmir Province Organization will establish a forest in memory of the deceased 8th Turkish President and Founder of the ANAP, Turgut Ozal. Secretary of the Province of Izmir, Mustafa Karalar, stated that within the framework of the decisions taken during the Administration Council of the Province on 11 April, a forest will be established in the memory of Turgut Ozal. /Turkiye/

    [17] 'MEDIA IN THE RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE'

    A panel entitled 'Media in the Relations between Turkey and Greece,' which was organized by the Association of European Journalists, Association of Modern Journalists, Association of Diplomacy Reporters, Association of Economy Reporters, Association of Parliemantary Reporters, Organization of Turkish Journalists and Gazi University, was held yesterday. Greek Ambassador to Ankara, Yannis Korantis, was also present at this panel, which was opened by the slide show called 'Kalimerhaba' by the photographer artist Ibrahim Demirel. /Cumhuriyet/

    [18] GREEK CHILDREN IN TURKEY

    During the First Children's Festival, which was organized by Sisli Municipality in Istanbul and Sisli's Directorate General of Education as part of the 80th anniversary of 23 April, National Sovereignity and Children's Day, 11 students from Diapolitismiko International Primary School in Greece were invited to Istanbul, three of whom were Turkish. One of the children, Wovla Kelly, said that she is on good terms with her Turkish friends and gave messages of peace to Greek and Turkish politicians. /Sabah/

    [19] AID CAMPAIGN BY ISTANBUL CHAMBER OF TRADE

    The Istanbul Chamber of Trade (ITO) will donate 100,000 dollars to the family of two Leeds Football Team fans, who died during the incidents that occurred in Taksim in Istanbul, thanks to the aid campaign that it started. Chairman of the ITO, Mehmet Yildirim, stated that he had returned from London yesterday and that he had met the families of the two fans who died in Turkey. Yildirim added, "We found it suitable to help them by starting an aid campaign. We will collect 100,000 dollars and I will donate 2,000 dollars myself." /Milliyet/

    [20] ONAL FORESEES SINGLE-DIGIT INFLATION WITHIN THREE YEARS

    Inflation is declining, albeit slowly, and year-end targets for wholesale and consumer price indices will be achieved considering the figures for the first quarter, the State Minister responsible for the economy, Recep Onal, told a press conference yesterday. Onal predicted that the government may achieve single-digit inflation within three years. The IMF will review the first quarter results of Turkey's disinflation programme on April 28, Onal said on the eve of his Washington visit to attend the IMF-World Bank spring meetings. The IMF is expected to release the second $300 million tranche of a $4 billion stand-by loan Athrough which it is supporting the government's programme. /All papers/

    [21] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UP

    The Turkish Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves rose by $154 million to $23.1 billion in the week ending April 13, the Bank announced yesterday. The Bank said its gold reserves remained unchanged at $1.01 billion. It stated that commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves stood at $14.3 billion on March 24, according to the most recent figures available. National foreign exchange reserves, including Central Bank foreign exchange reserves, commercial bank foreign exchange reserves and Central Bank gold reserves, rose by $271 million to $38.6 billion on March 24. Meanwhile, the Central Bank said a total of $3.4 billion had been transferred out for sovereign debt repayments since January 1. /All papers/

    [22] BIDDING FOR LAST GSM OPERATOR

    The second section of the GSM bidding will be held today. The bidding will decide on a group, which will provide two GSM 1800 systems and receive operation licenses. After Turkcell, Telsim, Is Bank and Turk Telecom, the final GSM operator will be decided on at an auction which will begin at 2:00 p.m. During the first section held the day before yesterday, one of the licences was sold to Is Bank-Telecom Italy partnership, which gave the highest offer with 2.525 billion dollars. During the bidding today, the price for the second licence will not be less than the earlier price. However, some groups are hesitating to attend the bidding, as they find the price too high. /Aksam/

    [23] TELECOM ITALIA SEES MAJOR POTENTIAL IN TURKEY

    The Turkish mobile phone market offers major potential in line with projections of high economic growth, said Marco De Benedetti, General Manager of Telecom Italia Mobile, which holds a 49 % stake in the consortium that purchased Turkey's first GSM 1800 license on Wednesday. Benedetti told a joint news conference held yesterday with Is Bank General Director Ersin Ozince that there was a wide gap between the Turkish mobile phone market and that of Europe but that it could be bridged after a few years' aggressive work. /All papers/

    [24] IMF: "TURKEY HAS MADE A GOOD START"

    Acting Chairman of the Executive Directors of the IMF, Stanley Fischer, said that Turkey made a good start regarding the economic programme supported by the IMF and stated that the programme also inspired hope from the financial and structural standpoints for dealing with inflation. /Hurriyet/

    [25] CEREMONY FOR TEB AT LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE

    A special signing ceremony was held for a Turkish company last week for the first time since June 1998 at the London Stock Exchange. This ceremony was for the Turkish Economy Bank (TEB), which offered 20 % of its capital to the public last February. Many high-level officials including the Head of the TEB Group, Hasan Colakoglu, and the Head of the Executive Board of the TEB, Yavuz Canevi, attended the ceremony at the London Stock Exchange, one of the most important international financial centres. Canevi said in his statement that they were very proud of taking their place in the London Stock Exchange and added that they wished other Turkish companies would follow them. /Hurriyet/

    [26] DEMIRBANK RECEIVES FOREIGN LOANS

    Demirbank has received a total of $75 million in syndication loans. According to a statement issued by Demirbank, the programme organized by the Bank of America for the fourth time, started with $60 million but then increased by 25 % due to high demand and reached $75 million. The statement remarked that Bayerische Hypo-Vereinsbank was the co-organizer while the First Union National Bank was the clearing bank and the Chase Securities had the dealer status. /Hurriyet/

    [27] MIGROS IN SOFIA

    Migros Turk, one of the most highly developing companies affiliated with the Koc Conglomerate, aims at reaching a turn-over of $4 billion by the year 2005. The Genereal Director of the Migros Turk Joint Stock Company, Oktay Irsidar, said that they were planning to open a Ramstore which will be constructed in Sofia through investments worth $15 million in November and added that they also wanted to open a Ramstore in Salonica, Greece, at the end of the year 2004. He pointed out that Migros Turk's activities in Moscow, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were increasing and said that they also had investment plans in Macedonia and in Western Thrace. /Hurriyet/

    [28] DUPONT-SABANCI TO BUILD NEW SOUTH AMERICAN TIRE FACTORY

    A DuPont joint venture with a Turkish holding company announced plans on Wednesday to build a new tire factory in Argentina or Brazil beginning in 2001. The announcement was made by tire manufacturers DUSA Argentia SA and DUSA Brazil SA, the joint venture of DuPOnt Co. of the US and Turkish concern Sabanci Holding. The choice between the countries will be made in the next 90 days, DUSA Argentia said. In addition, DUSA Argentina and DUSA Brazil will modernize their existing plants in the two countries, a statement said. /Turkish Daily News/

    [29] TURKEY THIRD LARGEST EXPORT FACTORING COUNTRY

    According to statistics on the world factoring sector in 1999 published by Factors Chain International (FCI), Turkey is the third largest export factoring country among FCI member states after Taiwan and Japan. Many more companies are starting to use factoring beacuse it is a tool for enlargement. Factoring has increased by about 20 % worldwide in 1999. Most factoring is done among EU countries and intercontinentally between the Far East, Europe and the US. /Turkish Daily News/

    [30] TARGET OF PRIVATIZATION: 15 BILLION DOLLARS

    The Turkish government enlarged its privatization target due to the fact that it earned 2.5 billion dollars thanks to the POAS, TUPRAS and the GSM biddings. State Minister Yuksel Yalova stated that they would review their targets of privatization and added, "We are planning to increase by two fold our target for the next year from 7.6 billion dollars to 15 billion dollars." /Turkiye/

    [31] DECLARATION OF THE WORLD'S ENERGY COUNCIL

    World's Energy Council's Declaration of the year 2000 was announced during the meeting that was held at the Cankaya Presidential Palace yesterday. President Suleyman Demirel pointed out that energy was the main indicator of economic improvement and that Turkey should make an investment amounting to 130 billion dollars in 20 years. /Cumhuriyet/

    [32] OGER-TOUR'S GENERAL ADVISOR'S STATEMENT

    Huseying Baraner, the General Advisor of Oger Tour, which is one of the leading tour operators, stated that 300,000 German tourists have made reservations since the beginning of this year and that they were aiming at bringing 850,000 German tourists to Turkey. Baraner added that Turkish tourism was very promising this year. /Turkiye/

    [33] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [34] HOW TO ACT FASTER? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the Turkish-EU Partnership Council meeting. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "There is a fact which came out of the meeting of Turkish-EU Partnership Council in Luxembourg the day before yesterday: the wide difference of opinion on the pace for Turkey's integration process with the EU between Ankara and its European allies.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem does not want a delay on membership negotiations and states that Turkey's aim is to shorten the period before participation as much as possible. An indefinite delay of the period may lead to fatigue.

    On the other hand, EU Commission officials responsible for expansion led by Gunther Verheugen, recall the commitments Turkey has to fulfil in the period before participation. Verheugen, who knows Turkey's problems well, stated, "We are still in the first stage of the participation process. However, I hope that this process will be accelerated after this meeting held in Luxembourg."

    In other words, Ankara is against a long participation process established with the excuse that Turkey is not complying with the required criteria. The EU insists that the length of the participation process depends mainly on the pace Turkey would take in complying with some objective criteria. In fact, the EU officials expressed their disappointment over the fact that Turkey had not covered much distance since the Helsinki Summit on the human rights issues.

    There is one more point the EU officials emphasize and that is the fact that the ball is Turkey's court now. As with the other candidate countries, Turkey can reach its aims as fast as it acts in complying with the political and economic criteria. Otherwise, the EU does not have any intentions of lengthening the membership process facing Turkey as suggested by some.

    Certainly there are some circles who do not look favourably upon Turkey's membership in the EU, just as there are some in Turkey who are suspicious of EU's intentions... However, the tendency and the commitment in the Commission and the Council is to open the path of membership for Turkey. It is also a well known fact that a strict stand is followed on the expectations the EU has of Turkey.

    Unfortunately, Ankara has not been able to give out any signals which could change this stance since Helsinki. Turkey has only recently begun forming organizations which would insure coordination with the EU. During recent weeks the wrong messages have been issued on human rights.

    It was already clear that the path to membership will be hard and long. However, it is mainly up to us how quickly we travel this road".

    [35] NO NAMES YET BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the Presidential Election. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Prime Minister Ecevit stated that Coalition party leaders can meet this weekend. During this meeting the identity of the 10th Presidential candidate may be determined. Even if a name is not determined, the characteristics he should have will be clear and a second meeting may be held to agree on a name.

    It was stated that the leaders had already agreed on a name before the meeting. The Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz said that this was not so and added that all news appearing in the press before the meeting would be nothing but speculation.

    In Ankara one of the frequently asked questions is if the ANAP leader would be a candidate. It is known that Mesut Yilmaz will not put up his candidacy if it is supported by only his party. However, if he is not denying these reports altogether, what is he waiting for? He can announce his nomination only if Ecevit and Bahceli ask him to do so.

    ANAP leader believes that only the Prime Minister can ask for his nomination. He tends to look with a constructive eye on the Prime Minister's proposals. The first meeting will be important as concerns the relations of the Coalition party leaders. We hope that they will reach a compromise on the issue of Presidential Election."


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